Building a venture studio - strategy, feasibility & financials

Lund / Full Time / Lund, Sweden

About Backtick

Backtick Technologies provides consultancy services in software engineering, data engineering, data science, artificial intelligence and related fields. Today, Backtick employs 12 engineers and has customers in the enterprise and startup world alike. In 2023, we’re building a state of the art data platform product, and we could use your help!

Project description

At Backtick, new technologies are used to solve previously impossible problems. These solutions often materialize as products. Recently, we’ve started investigating new ways to work closer with our nascent ventures to share upsides and build better long term investment strategies that do not exist in the traditional consulting business model:

  • Sweat equity setups (we offer to build solutions for startups by subsidizing consulting costs for equity).
  • Investing in, and nurturing ideas that arise internally at Backtick.
  • Generalizing customer needs to build solutions to more than one party (a customer has a problem, we build the solution for free with a prepaid license cost and package it as a solution that can be sold to others).
  • Joint ventures (customer sees a problem and a solution within their domain, we start a company together).
  • Cash investments to early stage (preseed, seed) external startups.

As an ultimate form of this, Backtick could grow into a venture studio. A venture studio is a company that builds startups for others. By leveraging the know-how and previous experience of successful entrepreneurs and highly efficient product and engineering teams, a venture studio is sometimes the right choice for companies and founders that are considering building out their next idea. While this is exciting, we have quite a bit of research to conduct before deciding upon this path.

You will work in close collaboration with the founding team of Backtick to:

  • Evaluate the feasibility and risks of becoming a venture studio.
  • Design a strategy for how Backtick could become a venture studio, including hiring, marketing and sales.
  • Financially assess the transition by investigating different economic routes that may or may not require venture capital (i.e could Backtick accomplish this without raising capital?).
  • Estimate the expected return on investment for a few different scenarios (consultancy company, product company, venture studio, venture capitalist and hybrid setups)

Of course, you will need to gather data to be able to do the above. We can think of a few sources and datasets that will help you. You will also conduct interviews with current and potential customers, partners, founders and investors. We will provide these contacts for you.

Research Questions

By the looks of it, previous research in this space seems thin. This is great, as there are many research gaps to fill. We hope your contribution can have an impact in this space. We promise to be transparent and help you in the best possible way to write a great thesis. We encourage you to come up with your own research questions, but here are some ideas: What is currently known in the scientific literature about best practices in becoming a venture studio in the technology sector? At a global level, how are venture studios doing financially the past X years? How do venture studio companies fare in comparison to other companies in bull and bear markets? How does ROI differ between “traditional” VC companies and Venture Studios?

Who are we?

At Backtick, we’re a mix of innovators, software engineers, data engineers and data scientists. We’re a small consultancy company helping our customers go from data to production ready machine learning systems. We have an office in central Lund, and you are welcome to sit with us. Read more about us at backtick.se

Who are you?

You have a background in Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Finance, Industrial Engineering and Management, Computer Science or similar fields. You have a genuine interest in startups and technology. Perhaps you’re interested in early stage startup investments. You like exploring new things and can communicate well.

You appreciate great engineering, value quality and transparency. Ideally, you have a positive mindset around flat company structures.

Start date & duration

Jan/Feb/Mar 2023, 30 HP (~1 semester)

Apply

Introduce yourself in a few lines to:

Oskar Handmark, Co-founder oskar@backtick.se

Photos by:
Josefin Widell Hultgren